It’s kind of torturous, living precisely between the two most famous bagel shops in Canada, the smell just doughy, sweet, redolent down the avenues whenever I go shopping… I grew up on these things, fresh montreal-style bagels (chewier than most) hot out of paper bags at a moment’s whim. They’re cheap and carby and never need much more than a bit of buttery spread or cream cheese to achieve bread nirvana and OH how I’ve missed them. So… I thought it about time to take matters into my own hands and just make some! I guess I figured it would be difficult, but this is actually one of the easiest bread recipes I’ve made in some time. I also couldn’t leave well enough alone in the creative noodling department (of course!) and made 9 individual flavours, kneading in little special things into each little dough blob. I ran out of blobs before I ran out of ideas, but these were so easy to make that when I’m not sick of bagels anymore I can make some again super quick. ;)
I also found it pretty necessary to make some sort of cream cheese to go with them — it’s almost half the deal, at least for my own nostalgia. The slightly sour tang and creaminess on sweet and seedy bread…. zomg. Thankfully I remembered about Bryanna Clark Grogan’s Boursin-style spread, because it hit the spot really perfectly, AND it didn’t call for nutritional yeast at all which I think would have messed with what should be a mild-flavoured thing. It’s just cashews and EB and miso rocking this out, and soooooo yummy.
haha, oh CURRY BAGEL. You were variant no. 2 and I was still such a novice at the “rise & boil” method that I forgot to oil the baking sheet you rose on! Sooooo wonky looking and the crumb was kinda off since I had to scrap you all out of symmetrical wack, BUT still really good. Curry powder and cumin seeds in this one.
Sunflower seed and golden B.C. syrup (to kind of take the place of honey). Expectedly so crisp and fluffy inside, I ate it with loads of Boursin and extra syrup. Oh, and I packed it for lunch to eat after a 2-hour lecture class and it was still crunchy-fresh even by then!
Garlic, olive oil, herbs. Too much salt, but still pretty nice. Oh! And I should take a moment to mention that I boiled these in water with a bit of sugar to approximate the honey water that the real bagelries use. I stopped doing that to the last few because I found it too sweet… but it’s worth experimenting with, as a method.
Green chile chopped up inside, on a sandwich with VeganDad’s lunch slices (A++ on this flavour). Subtle fruity heat!
Onion, with herbs on top, on another sandwich because I pretty much died and went to lunch heaven with the first one and had to repeat it.
Another A++ flavour — Sundried tomato and red chile flakes! Here you can see it bathing in (sugar-free) water this time.
And I’m impatient, I really am. If I were different I may have waited until I actually baked the last two flavours to make this post. But I figured that Isa’s Brunch Book bagels would be taking the blogs by storm pretty soon and I should post now while I can! Plus, seeing them in fossil-form is pretty important to the whole process. I didn’t mention, but I froze them just after the second rise, right before they were to be boiled. Then all I had to do was pull one out 45 minutes before I wanted to make it, let it defrost and puff a bit, then boil and bake and eat! I’m glad my oven is so small or I’d feel bad about gas, but it really is small, and I’d have no idea what to do with more than one at a time, really. Anyway… It’s also really nice to know I have a few stored away. I saved the weirdest one and the best one for last — 1 goji matcha, and 1 cinnamon raisin, and I’m gonna have that cinnamon raisin drowned in EB and it will be glorious, I just know it, with hot hot hot tea on the side and a crossword if I can get my hands on it and one more long-time craving finally sated at the hands of homemade how-to-do. :)
(some thoughts for later: chocolate chunk, lavender, zaa’tar spiced, mixed olive, walnut and spice, annatto-yellow, green peppercorn, corn & coriander, cranberry & pepper, flax!)